Bobcats nab huge 22-3A opening win over Kirbyville

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent


ORANGEFIELD — It was a nice start to the District 22-3A baseball campaign for the boys in Orange and White Tuesday night.

The Orangefield Bobcats took down the Kirbyville Wildcats in extra innings 3-2 at Orangefield, in their first District 22-3A game of the season.

The Wildcats are a highly touted team this season, after making it deep into the playoff run last season, the Wildcats are looking to build on that momentum, starting with the Bobcats. On the flip side the Bobcats are looking to make a deep run themselves and prove they are a high quality team.

Kirbyville’s pitcher James Burchett went seven innings for the Wildcats. Burchett had six strikeouts, two walks, allowed four hits and two runs allowed against the Bobcats (5-7, 1-0) He was able to keep his accuracy pin point throughout the night making it difficult for the Bobcats to string hits together, until late in the game.

Blake Bradley would start for the Bobcats and he would go seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits, striking out eight and walking two. Bradley had a couple of tough innings, exceeding 20 pitches in two frames. However, he was able to get out of sticky situations as using his solid defense let him go far. Bradley held the Wildcats in check to give his team a chance late.

Johnny Armstrong would be the hero, offensively, for the Bobcats. He drew two walks singled, scored a run, swiped a base and accounted for two runs across the plate. As the leadoff hitter Armstrong filled his role perfectly all night long.

The Wildcats (9-6-1, 0-1) would strike first with a run in the top of the second inning. Dylan Bishop and Hayden Sharp strung together a couple hits back to back. Sharp would knock in Bishop with a hard single to right center, with Bishop running in from second base. That’s all they could get in the inning, but they grabbed the early 1-0 lead on the Bobcats.

Orangefield struck back in the bottom of the fourth for their first run of the game. Johnny Armstrong led off with a walk to start the inning, Kent Micheal would sacrifice bunt to put Armstrong on second with Kadeon Evans up to bat. Evans ripped oen hard to right center to score Armstrong from second base. The Bobcats did not convert any more runs that inning after bringing the score even at 1-1 after four complete innings.

Kirbyville took a late lead in the top of the seventh. Logan Webb hit a high sac fly to right center, allowing Dylan Bishop to score from third. Bishop led off the inning with by reaching on an error by the Bobcats. The Wildcats scored at the perfect time, needing to just hold the Bobcats for one more frame of play, leading 2-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh.

The Bobcats weren’t done just yet, evening the score in the bottom of the seventh, finally getting a few hits to string together. Evans led off with a walk, Bradley would hit a single, Mason Gonzalez would hit a long sac fly to move Evans to third, and Gunner Jones would drive him in with a hard hit to right center. The Bobcats tied it at 2-2, after leaving the bases loaded, heading to extra innings.

It was Armstrong steal home to win the game for the Bobcats in walk off fashion in the eighth. Armstrong reached on an infield single to lead off the eighth inning, Kent Micheal would score a bunt single and push Armstrong to second. After a wild pitch moved both runners up a bag, Evans walked to load the bases. The Wildcats’ pitcher tossed a passed ball on the next batter and Armstrong stole home with a cloud of dust following as the Bobcats pulled out a huge win.

The Bobcats will visit East Chambers Friday.